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Posted on July 25, 2012
Just two years ago the Peñasquitos Youth Soccer Association (PQYSA) and Rancho Bernardo Youth Soccer Association (RB Rec/FC San Diego SC) merged to form what is now the San Diego Soccer Club (SDSC). The club offers both community based PQ and RB recreational leagues and an exceptional competitive soccer program. The club is known for having one of the most experienced and professional coaching staff in San Diego which, in turn, has led to team and player success. Mike Davison, a veteran to the program from the beginning, shared with us the ins and outs of PQYSA and why it is thriving in the 92129 community. It will be apparent something big is happening on the PQ fields come August when practices start. Goals on and off the field will be met and the community volunteers, players, coaches, and all those involved in the program are to thank for that.
What is the history behind the PQ Recreational Soccer Association (PQYSA)?
About 35 years ago, Rod Chambers started the Recreational League here in PQ.
What is the timeline for the season, and where and when are games played?
Recreational soccer is played in Spring (March-May) and Fall (August-November) with additional practices and tournaments for All-Star players going beyond the normal playing season. In the Spring, all soccer games are played in one location and all games are played on Sundays. In the Fall, games are played on Saturday’s locally throughout Rancho Peñasquitos, as well as interleague games vs. RB Youth Soccer, Poway Recreational Soccer, Scripps Ranch, and 4S Ranch for the U12 and U14 age groups. The older age groups (U16-U18) compete in the Presidio League against various other San Diego teams. Coaches usually hold 1-2 practices during the week, and games are played on Saturdays.
The competitive soccer season begins with tryouts in the late winter/spring followed by tournaments through the summer, and the official season begins in late August, ending in November usually before Thanksgiving. Younger Competitive teams play in tournaments as late as the following February with the High School age teams playing through April with a break for High School in November – February. Competitive soccer games are played all throughout San Diego from Chula Vista to Temecula to Lakeside to Oceanside.
Our highest level teams compete in the Southern California Developmental Soccer League where games are usually in Orange County to allow competition vs. the highest level teams in Southern California.
What is the traditional season for fall league?
Both the competitive and recreational league season games run from early September until Thanksgiving. Recreational soccer then forms All-Stars teams which compete in one or more tournaments and competitive teams compete in League Cup tournaments and/or college showcase events for the High School age teams.
What will soccer players in the league expect to get out of the season?
Short answer: Soccer skill development, team experience, new friendships, and a lot of fun.
Longer Answer: I (Mike Davison) once took a licensing class and had the privilege of listening to Brian Quinn, San Diego Sockers Hall of Fame player, former US National Team member and the Director of Boys Coaching for San Diego Soccer Club speak. One thing he said has always stuck with me. “If you talk with professional players in baseball, football, basketball, lacrosse…many will talk about playing soccer as a kid. But if you talk to professional soccer players, soccer is all they ever played!” The skills, fitness and athleticism acquired to play soccer is unmatched in many sports. [pullquote_right]Because I have been with the program for so many years, I’m seeing the kids who I coached, now grown and bringing their own kids into the program. For me, that is a great success.
~Mike Davison[/pullquote_right]Add this to the team aspect, the sportsmanship and friendships that develop and you have a pretty complete package.
How are teams formed to ensure teams are balanced appropriately?
This is one of the greatest challenges of the pre-season. The fall recreational teams are put together using a draft format. To create their teams, volunteer coaches rely on lists of registered players as well as ratings for returning players from previous seasons. To obtain ratings for players, we ask each of the coaches at the end of every season to supply ratings on their players. If we have knowledge of the “A” or impact players, we attempt to spread them out the following season so that all the teams have an equal amount of impact players. The wildcards are always the unknown kids, and we do our best to make sure they are placed evenly across the teams as well. As an aside, kids who are physically growing fast tend to spend their season trying to adapt to their new and sometimes awkward dimensions. The following year is usually a breakout season for them where they have become newer, stronger, and faster players. Even the brain muscle can develop and suddenly the whole concept and strategy of the game makes sense so they can play smarter.
What’s the difference between the Fall Rec league and the Spring Rec league?
The spring season is our “off-season” league with fewer players than in the fall season with a simpler format. We play small-sided games of 4v4. The intent of this league is to promote foot skills and mainly just to keep fresh before the fall season starts again. The games are very informal and there are usually instances of players being picked up for multiple games by teams that may be short on a particular day. It’s a very “neighborhood pick-up game” atmosphere where the main focus is having fun.
Additionally, we are able to allow practice and exposure for kids who think they may want to referee. The fields are small and focused so they can work on the needed skills before taking the official classes and getting their license.
The fall season is more structured with age appropriate field and goal sizes. The teams are larger and coaches hold practices 1-2 times a week. We make coaching education available to all our volunteers and mandate recreational level licensing to help the coaches give the kids the best possible instruction.
What is PQYSA’s connection to San Diego Soccer Club?
Penasquitos Youth Soccer Association (PQYSA) merged with Rancho Bernardo Youth Soccer Association (RB Rec/FC San Diego SC) in 2010 forming a new club, San Diego Soccer Club (SDSC) offering both community based PQ and RB recreational leagues and an exceptional competitive soccer program called San Diego Soccer Club. One of the greatest benefits of this merger is the number of skilled coaches and player development programs it has brought together. We believe we have the most experienced and professional coaching staff in San Diego and have an outstanding history of team and player success.
While the PQ and RB Rec Soccer programs still exist as their own entities, the newer, larger club which combined PQ Premier and FC San Diego is able to offer more support through their newly integrated and highly experienced professional coaching staff which is able to offer even more clinics, camps, and programs that are so beneficial to both the competitive and recreational players and coaches alike.
Why/How does the PQYSA run such an organized program?
Many years of experience, dedicated people and lots of great volunteers. It’s no coincidence that many of the people who have been the subject of articles in the 92129 magazine have been integral parts of our program. Bill Diel, Dennis Garon, Mike Lim, Chris Cahill, Ron Garret…all have been highlighted in the magazine and spent numerous hours working with the soccer program here in PQ, along with their own endeavors. Peter Stogsdill has been the life blood of PQ soccer for most of its existence. I haven’t seen an article on Pete yet, but I’m sure there will be one soon. His effort to develop players and prepare them for college opportunities begins at early ages and continues until he sees the end results of his training as the Westview High School varsity girls coach.
Bryan Burkholder, Jackie Stupack, Leonore Payne, John Redman, Tom Christenson…there has just been an endless list of great people that I have had the honor to volunteer with and it’s a list that grows even longer every year, especially now that the clubs have merged. Sally Grigoriev has been the epitome of organization and quality management.
What is the biggest challenge the Program faces?
I believe all the soccer programs here in PQ face the same challenge that all sports leagues face everywhere…QUALITY field space. The climate here in San Diego is so spectacular that it encourages participation in outdoor sports all year. This results in the need to share field space, limiting time for the grass to rest as it can become very beat up, and require a lot of effort and funding to maintain. As we all know, in this economy there isn’t a lot of extra funding sitting around to keep the grass green and lush or to convert existing fields to artificial turf.
Are there any changes this season that players/parents need to be aware of?
The current plan is to move all the fall recreational games to Canyonside Park. This is an effort to get all the fall recreational games in the same area. Many moons ago, we held all the recreational games at Black Mountain Middle School (BMMS). It was a great environment where we could take care of issues, watch games and players, and generally all play “together”. When BMMS closed its fields for renovation, we moved our games to several city park sites. The turf was great but the separation was challenging and a little sad. We lost a lot of the cohesive family atmosphere that we relied on to make recreational soccer a community event. We expect to get this back again this season.
Are there any new developments community members should be aware of that will impact the season (new fields, new construction, etc…)?
We do have some plans in place to further field expansion. With the increase in club size, we have had to schedule more games in the late afternoon and early evenings. The importance of having lighted fields for the later games has become a very important issue. We also have board members working with both the city and PUSD on efforts to create more fields that will benefit the community as a whole.
How does a business or family sponsor a team? Who are the current League sponsors?
Anyone interested in sponsoring our club can contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of our board members directly. We have a variety of sponsorship packages available including adding logos to uniforms and practice tees. We have several League sponsors and can always use more support as the costs continue to increase especially field use costs. We allocate funding each year to the City of San Diego and Poway Unified Schools to assist in field maintenance as well as for scholarships to low income families. Our highest level sponsors are Children’s Physicians Medical Group, Diadora Soccer, Daphne’s California Greek, Soccerloco, and Sports Authority. Our website lists all of our sponsors.
Do you have any special programs or sponsors?
Of special note – The San Diego Foundation has graciously provided our club a grant that allows us to provide TOPSoccer, a soccer program for special needs children. Sessions are on Sundays through the summer and fall and the Grant offsets most of the operating cost allowing these kids to play for a very small fee. We are very proud of this program and the kids and families who participate truly enjoy it.
Does PQYSA hold any fundraisers? If so, please elaborate.
The club and the teams hold many fundraisers each year to offset operating and travel costs. Our primary fundraising activities are our annual soccer tournaments The San Diego Premier Classic held each August, Pegasus Cup held near July 4th, and Presidents Cup each January. The proceeds from these events directly offset the operating costs of our league helping us to keep fees as low as possible.
How does one get involved with volunteering with the PQYSA and/or the San Diego Soccer Club?
Contacting anyone on the board through our website will always get your voice heard. As kid’s cycle through the program and age out, there is always a need for recreational coaches as well as board members.
What is the most rewarding part of dedicating and volunteering your time to PQYSA?
I can’t speak for everyone on this one, but for me (Mike Davison)…I love seeing kids running around in their uniforms while shopping at Vons. I get immense satisfaction out of seeing the kids develop and watching them grow. Because I have been with the program for so many years, I’m seeing the kids who I coached, now grown and bringing their own kids into the program. For me, that is a great success.
What is the most unique thing about the PQ Recreational Soccer Program compared to other programs?
Thankfully, I’d like to think that we aren’t so unique. I’m hoping there are kids everywhere that are getting the same sort of attention and opportunities that we have provided here in PQ and RB. We believe every player on every team is important and our goal is to provide a positive experience that each player and their family can look back on with a big smile.
# of teams: 82
# of players: 900
# of games scheduled to play: 820
# of soccer balls to be used: 845
# of volunteers: at least 82
# of coaches: 82
WHO: All boys and girls between 5 and 19 years of age. No experience necessary.
WHERE: Various fields in Rancho Peñasquitos – the main field is Canyonside Park.
WHEN: All games will be played on Saturdays starting September 8th through November 10th
# of teams: 68
# of players: 950
# of games scheduled to play: 900
# of soccer balls to be used: at least 1500!
# of volunteers: 225
# of coaches: 48
Year of Establishment: 1977
Board Meetings: First Tuesday of each month 7p.m., High Country West Community Center.
Spring Recreational Director/Coordinator: Mike Davison
Fall Recreational Director/Coordinator: Haydn Mitchell
What it is: A fall and spring recreational soccer league for players from 5 to 18 years old offering a complete and well organized league and exceptional player development programs.
Year of Establishment: 1978
Board of Directors: President: Sally Grigoriev
Treasurer: Nathan Thernes
VP Competitive Soccer: Lori Moody
Boys Coaching Directors: Seamus McFadden and Brian Quinn
Girls Coaching Directors: Pete Stogsdill and Raffi Ruotolo
VP Ways and Means: Chris Rohane
Secretary: Janet Sidebottom
Board Meetings: First Tuesday of the month 7p.m., High Country West Community Center
What it is: A competitive Soccer League for players U7-U18 offering competition at the highest level, Premier, through AA-C. A clear player development structure is fully integrated into the coaching curriculum for each team with many development clinics available in addition to regular team practices. College recruiting and counseling support is available to all players.
*formerly PQ Premier, FC San Diego SC, Pegasus Soccer, RB Renegades